Rubicon Switch

♦ Rubicon Switch 3[credit]

Influence: 3

[click], X[credit]: Derez 1 piece of ice with printed rez cost X[credit] that was rezzed this turn. Use this ability only once per turn.

"Even I don't know how or why this one works. I just copied the schematics from a burst broadcast from someplace north of Paxton's Node, where nothing is supposed to be." -Los
Illustrated by Kathryn Steele
Decklists with this card

Earth's Scion (eas)

#43 • English
Startup Card Pool
Standard Card Pool
Standard Ban List (show history)
Earth's Scion

No rulings yet for this card.


Criminals often struggle with the midgame when the corp has managed to rez enough ice since the criminal breaker suite tends to be relatively inefficient. Rubicon Switch is a way to use an economical lead in the early game to prolong the early game. By spending as much as the corp did to rez a card and spending a click you undo the rez, forcing the corp to spend credits the next turn all over again.

Because Rubicon Switch requires a click you cannot use it during a run and since ice is normally only rezzed when you run into it you will have to face a piece of ice before you can derez it. And if the corp rerezzed it and you hit the switch again, same deal, you have to run into it to get it to rez first. Of course the second time you know what you're up against.

Also note that Rubicon Switch only works on the turn that the ice was rezzed. That can be a problem when for example you run into ice that gives you tags and need to spend your remaining clicks to clear the tags. In that case you have to choose between floating tags or not using Rubicon Switch.

Because Rubicon Switch only works on one piece of ice per turn if the corp manages to rez multiple pieces the switch is not nearly as effective. Which is why it's important to employ Rubicon Switch in combination with the good old criminal strategy of economical devastation.

There are some pieces of ice that Rubicon Switch works very well against and some that it's horrible against. The first category consists of ice with an additional nasty cost such as Archer or illicit (bad publicity cost) ice. The second category, where Rubicon Switch is weak against, is ice that has a higher printed rez cost than effective rez cost, most notably space ice (Asteroid Belt, Nebula, Orion, Wormhole).

(Earth's Scion era)
This would work well in combination with Forged Activation Order. Corp rezez a piece of ICE you derez with this then play FAO to force them to rez it again or trash it knowing they don't have the resources. That's how you get rid of Archer! —

This is a natural combination and a support card for Los: Data Hijacker as he get's 2 creds for the first ICE rezzed per turn the likelyhood you might come out of this ahead is great as derezzing means you will get the Los bonus again (and again and again). Of course this makes most sense if there are more support cards that benefit from rezzing ICE such as Compromised Employee, Keros Mcintyre, Collective Consciousness and Ice Analyzer (together with the bird breakers).
This can create situations where the corp don't want to rez ICE anymore which is something you will like to as it means runs are for free and you can save your resources for the times you really need them and you avoid situations as a criminal where you are locked out and your engine is not going anymore.
The downside is, that you need a click to do this, which is different to the bird breakers and you can only do it the turn the ICE was rezzed. So you will need other tools like Emergency Shutdown and Crescentus to get ICE derezzed again to bring it back to Rubicon Switch range.
I think it's more a tool for the mid to late game where you can avoid runs becomming to costly and make it uninteresting for the corp to rez ICE as they know what will happen, which is a positiv thing ;-) combine this with The Gauntlet they will think about rezzing ICE, know you can break it, get creds for it and will see an additional card and afterwards might derezz it again....

(Earth's Scion era)
En Passant could be used to trash derezzed ice. —

Building on the points about comparing this to the bird breakers, this is useful for a) cheaper ice. and b) 2 ICE of the same type on a server. This is because with the bird breakers, there's a flat cost - 6-7 credits, + the click to reinstall. With this, using it on low-cost ice like Vanilla, Eli, etc means one makes much more money.

(Earth's Scion era)

Specifically on Los of course. Otherwise there'd be no reason to derez free ice